Jet Li’s a pretty amazing guy. He has survived a tsunami, rescued his daughter from said tsunami, and has made many, many movies. If you’re a Jet Li fan and have never checked out his website, you really should. The man is amazing on many levels. He’s a humble Buddhist, a kick-ass martial artist, a family man and a great actor.
He started out practicing kung fu, wu shu, at a very young age. From his website:
The following is some information about Jet’s training, styles he knows and his competitive career.
Jet’s primary coach was Wu Bin, who served as head coach of the Beijing Wushu Team from 1964 until the early part of the 21st century. While Wu Bin started training wushu athletes at the Beijing Sports School in 1964, the Beijing Wushu Team, as it is currently known, was not formally created until 1974. Jet, himself, started training in wushu in 1971 at the age of 8 years old.
During the early years of the team Cheng Huikun and Li Jinheng also served on the coaching staff. In addition, many other coaches and teachers, each with their own specialty and area of expertise, visited the team to help train Jet and his teammates.
The original members of the Beijing Men’s Wushu Team were Li Lianjie (Jet Li), Li Zhizhou, Li Jinfeng, Tang Laiwei, Yu Shaowen, Wang Qun, Wang Jianjun, Sun Jiaming, Dong Honglin, Cui Yahui, Yang Yongli and Yan Ping. On the women’s team were Li Xia, Hao Zhi Hua, Zhang Gui Feng, Wang Xiuping, Zhang Hong Mei, Ge Chunyan, Luu Yan, Hui Xuna, Huang Qiuyan, Zhou Jingpiong, Mi Jin, Huang Xiaofeng and Zhang Dehua.
Contrary to popular myth, Jet never trained at the Shaolin Temple. At the time Jet was training in wushu (late 60’s and early 70’s) there were no “fighting monks” living at the Shaolin Temple
Styles of Wushu
Jet specialized in the following styles:
chang quan (long fist)
fanzi quan (tumbling fist)
pu dao (horse chopper)
And in addition, Jet also studied the following styles (some in more depth than others).
taiji quan (the 5 main styles)
bagua zhangjian (straightsword)
zui quan (drunken fist)
tang lang quan (mantis fist)
ying zhao quan (eagle claw boxing)
zui jian (drunken sword)
shuang dao (double broadswords)
double hooks swords
9 section whip
The following is a brief history of Jet’s wushu career:
1971: Jet begins training in wushu at an after-school program at the Beijing Sports School.
1974: Jet joins the newly created Beijing Wushu Team and begins competing on a national level.
1974: Was awarded his first Men’s National All-Around Championship title at the age of 12.
1975: Men’s National All-Around Championship
1976: Men’s National All-Around Championship
1977: Men’s National All-Around Championship
1978: Men’s National All-Around Championship
1979: Retired from professional wushu competition after a knee injury where he ripped his Anterior Crutiate Ligament (ACL) doing the jump inside kick to split.
The end of Jet Li’s movie making career was rumored some time ago. Fortunately, this rumor was not true.